Boom Bye Bye

Album: Boom Bye Bye (1992)
Play Video


  • Although this song is recorded in a particular unintelligible Jamaican patios, its meaning was sufficiently clear to incur the wrath of self-styled gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. The boom is clearly the sound of a gun, "bye bye" is what happens when the gun is held to the victim's head, a batty bwoy in this case, or a homosexual in common or garden parlance. This particular song also appears to advocate throwing acid over homosexuals.

    In August 1994, Tatchell appeared on the front cover of the (now defunct) London freesheet Capital Gay; he was being led away by police officers after being arrested outside a conference of Moslem Fundamentalists in Wembley, and was holding a poster which bore the legend:


    Banton first recorded "Boom Bye Bye" in 1988, when he was 15 years old. Tatchell's displeasure at alleged incitements to murder his fellow homosexuals is not shared by the majority of Banton's countrymen. Jamaica was granted independence from the Mother Country in 1962, several years before the Wolfenden reforms which led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain. Jamaica did not follow suit, and homosexual acts remained illegal on that island.

    Having said that, it is one thing to prosecute homosexuals, and another to shoot them - especially when their ranks have included Noël Coward, Elton John and George Michael - to name but three! Tatchell instigated a campaign called "Stop Murder Music" and persuaded many reggae artists to sign something called The Reggae Compassionate Act; Tatchell actually began his crusade after hearing Banton's song. In July 2007, the Guardian reported that Banton has signed the Act, apparently because boycotts mounted by the organised homosexual movement were costing him money. Alas, in October 2009, Tatchell announced to the world via his personal website in his capacity as "international coordinator of the Stop Murder Music campaign" that "in early June 2007 [he] signed [The Reggae Compassion Act] under his real name, Mark Myrie", but that, sadly, "Buju has performed Boom Bye Bye, in whole or part, after signing the RCA and has abused gay rights groups with the epithet 'F--k them.'"

    Tatchell said also that Banton had denied signing the act, which may be true, but it remains to be seen if the song he calls "an anti-gay anthem" is actually sung by mobs when they attack homosexuals, or if it was in any way responsible for the murder of Jamaican homosexual activist Brian Williamson in 2004.

    "Boom Bye Bye" runs to some 3 minutes 20 seconds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

Comments: 1

  • Astar El from AmeximIs the stop murder music designed to attack music specifically against homosexual acts like the Bible in Leviticus Chapter 18 verse 22 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them, or is it against all murder music like say dancehall music preformed by Bounty Killer, Bernie Man, Merciless etc If you are attacking the free will to express one biblical fact without another biblical fact to back your personal feelings, than you become a man that support heathens and is a direct decedent to the Sodomites of the Bible
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Heaven And HellSongwriter Interviews

Guitarist Tony Iommi on the "Iron Man" riff, the definitive Black Sabbath song, and how Ozzy and Dio compared as songwriters.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Bass Player Scott Edwards

Bass Player Scott EdwardsSong Writing

Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."